Article Title "How to Offset Your Carbon Credits" set over trees.

HOW TO OFFSET YOUR CARBON EMISSIONS

8/26/2019

The uncomfortable elephant in the room at the global dinner party = greenhouse gas emissions.

The problem can seem so vast and thus overwhelming that many people ignore it rather than face it, and perhaps find bliss in the ignorant belief that someone, somewhere else will solve the problem for them.  However, this attitude can leave you feeling disempowered to have any impact on your life and these circumstances, when the opposite is the case.

It is true that corporate/government decisions about emissions matter in aggregate more than personal choices. However corporations and governments are comprised of people, and larger numbers of people taking regenerative actions can begin to impact these influential bodies.  For example, having a firm understanding of how to make simple changes yourself will empower you to tackle larger changes in your work place or other institutional setting.

One choice is offsetting your emissions. You can do this by:

(1) Switch your electric bill to 100% renewable. (scroll down to see how to that in our previous post). This is a big deal because the highest carbon emissions per person is from electricity, followed by vehicle emissions, natural gas use, and emissions from waste.
(2) Calculate your emissions. We used this calculator from the EPA.  This part can be a bit tricky if you aren’t used to spreadsheets. We are happy to help (email Ashley).
(3) Choose your organization to support! This year we hosted a farm to table brunch with Gourmet Diva that donated to Red Hook Farms. Another organization to check out is Local Farms Fund. They help early-stage NY organic farmers by providing capital to help them buy their land. Ensuring local organic farming remains financially viable is critical for building a regenerative food system, especially because Big Ag is supported by subsidies and thus artificially cheap.

For any organization you decide to support, you have to make an educated estimate of how much of your emissions will be offset by your donation. You might look at the impact materials for the organization and see if they have any breakdown of what they can do with your funds.

(4) Write a post about what you did and share the process with your communities!

(PS) We suggest reviewing your emissions and how you choose to offset them once a year.

We look forward to hearing what you decide to support!

 

Woman Looking at wind turbine, wondering how to use green energy in New York City.

HOW TO SWITCH YOUR ELECTRICITY BILL TO 100% CLEAN WIND ENERGY

7/18/2019

If you pay an electric bill, you can tell your utility that you want them to source your power from 100% renewable wind energy, and guess what they have to listen to you! #democracy
 
Ideally look for a wind company close to where you live. In the Northeast try Ambit Energy. It takes about 15 minutes. You still receive your same Con Ed bill. The cost difference for us is negligible ($2-$3/month). If you live outside the north east and you need help finding a company, contact Ashley.

Steps —
1. Call Ambit Energy: (877) 282-6248
2. Tell them where you live and that you want to purchase the 100% renewable wind option that is sourced regionally (e.g. North east if you live in NYC). You have to emphasize that you want 100% or they may try to sell you a mixed bag with dirty energy. The world isn’t perfect after all!
3. The agent on the phone will sign you up and contact Con Ed to switch over your bill.
4. Wait for your next bill! Takes 1 or 2 bill cycles to start.
5. Copy and paste this post and share with your friends to do the same! 

Our First Newsletter

1/1/2019

Thank you for your interest and your support in our endeavor to launch our business.  We wanted to update you on our progress since opening and our near-term and long-term goals.

 

Last year we began designing and creating a physical space to serve as a hub for working through our ideas about building support systems for localism. We asked the question: how can local networks improve and support communities in becoming more self-sufficient, equal, and diverse. We found a warehouse in Red Hook, Brooklyn. We spent the summer renovating it, with the goal of creating an event space that people could rent and we would use the income to support other projects. The goal was to be self-reliant vs. grant-dependent in doing what is typically designated as “not-for-profit” work.  

 

Our primary focus in 2018 was opening RE:GEN:CY and establishing a business model where we could cover our operations through renting out the space for photoshoots, events, film shoots, and other programs. Thus far we have been successful in the rental component and can now begin to focus on our longer-term goals and implement programming.

 

Red Hook is a unique community in New York City, and one where localism is alive and thriving.  This past fall we began research to understand community needs (see our video for more about our process). We met with individuals and organizations to better understand what they would like to see locally. We officially opened RE:GEN:CY during Red Hook Open studios in November 2018, where we invited feedback in the project areas we are exploring, namely: small business growth and development, community solar, barnraisings, skills and workshop trainings, disaster preparedness, and resource networking. 

 

We have also been mapping out the support systems that already exist in the neighborhood and seeing where there are gaps to fill. We have learned that Red Hook Art Project is providing free space for kids to work on their creative skills while also offering mentoring and stress management. Red Hook Justice Center is a pioneer of restorative justice, where they train community members in the Navajo tradition of peacemaking to serve as mediators in local conflicts, and have been effectively reducing incarceration.  The Red Hook Initiative leads programming for workforce development for adults and youth, including opportunities through the Red Hook Farm. The Alex House Project provides support to teen mothers for their own personal development and their transition. Other local organizations are working to elevate marginalized voices and address climate change, such as Resilient Red Hook, among other areas.  

 

We have found four areas where we think our skills are best suited for the needs of the community. 
 
  1. Small Business Growth and Development: helping entrepreneurs establish and grow small businesses or organizations. During our research we learned that there is a lack of support, both culturally and organizationally, for supporting entrepreneurs living in lower income communities. This winter we are hosting a workshop series for small businesses and business ideas starting Sunday Feb 3rd from 2-4pm. We also continue to accept applications on a case by case basis.
  2. Friday Collectives: creating conversations and programming around how our local communities can become more sustainable and self-sufficient. We are hosting our the first one on February 8th from 7-9pm exploring local renewable energy. Please Register on Meetup here!
  3. Mapping community resources available for sustainable development projects: we are researching practical steps to take for sustainable infrastructure projects like community solar. We are actively doing research on other companies and projects that are doing similar work, looking for collaborators, and looking for interested local members who want to help get projects like this off the ground.
  4. Programming: we want this space to be a trellis for community members to apply to run their own events, programming, classes, or other ideas. We invite you to send us your ideas, and if it is a fit with our mission we will provide support or help research ways to get the appropriate funding/etc.

 

Thank you again for your feedback and your interest in our endeavor.

 

Sincerely,
Regenerative Resource Network // re-gen.network